A wet July set construction workers behind, but August's cool, dry weather allowed them to make up for lost time on sewer system overhauls in Baldwin and Tonganoxie.
BRB Construction, of Topeka, is replacing 8,475 linear feet of sanitary sewer line throughout Baldwin, and Meadows Construction is replacing about 14,000 feet of line in its hometown of Tonganoxie. Bill Winegar, Baldwin public works director, and Butch Rogers, Tonganoxie city superintendent, said crews have completed about a third of the projects.
Both entail digging up clay pipes, many of which are cracked or collapsed, and replacing them with polyvinyl chloride pipeline. The workers eventually will patch roads damaged by the heavy machinery, replace dirt and spread grass seed.
Winegar and Rogers explained the sewer systems had been plagued by rain water seeping into the collection system, which forced the wastewater treatment plant to process more water and added stress on the deteriorating lines.
"THE PEOPLE won't see a lot of change," Winegar said. "The biggest thing the project will take care of is infiltration of storm water. It will make a big difference at the plant."
Rogers said customers who have experienced problems with basement flooding in the past might notice a difference after the overhaul because rain water no longer will fill the pipes and cause a backup.
Both cities received $300,000 Community Development Block Grants last year to help finance the work. BG Consultants, of Lawrence, designed both sewer projects, which carry a price tag of about $404,000 in Baldwin and $700,000 in Tonganoxie.
The Baldwin work is expected to be finished by late November or early December, and the Tonganoxie crew plans complete the majority of the work by Nov. 1 and wrap up last-minute details by mid-December.
WINEGAR SAID BRB started in the north section of town and is working south. "It's running on schedule," he said. "Everything's going pretty smoothly."
Rogers said work is under way throughout the Tonganoxie community, and crews plan to start cleaning up the completed areas in the next couple of weeks.
Larry Meadows, owner of the construction firm hired by Tonganoxie for the sewer project, said workers have made several unusual discoveries while digging up the old pipe. Among their finds were an old well and a 3-foot safe that must have been buried at least 30 years, he said.